It's official: I suck at all things hair related. Whether I'm putting it up, keeping it down or something in between, when it comes to styling my locks I'm about as clueless as you can get. It's something that I've just never managed to get the hang of (countless annual school photos document that fact), but one thing I have been able to slightly pull together lately is a messy, undone wave; the type of which looks like I haven't even touched my hair for days on end. Contrary to popular belief, making your hair look completely neglected is harder work than you might think. For a novice like me, anyway...
My hair is naturally poker straight, so adding that grit and texture as early on as showering is essential. My current weapons of choice are the Bumble & Bumble Surf Shampoo and Conditioner; both of which give my hair an undone finish that allows the waves I put in to really stay put. The ingredients in this actually help to draw out any slight shape that my hair has naturally, too; a bonus on lazy days where properly styling my hair is the last thing on my mind. A cheaper alternative is the Lush BIG Shampoo, which does relatively the same thing - although the matching conditioner definitely didn't impress me as much.
Then come the tools. I actually have two heated stylers that I use to create curl and shape; both of which work really well for me. For a more relaxed, undone wave I'm forever reaching for my GHD IV Stylers; mine have lasted me years now and are still going strong. I'm not entirely sure of the exact model, but any of the IV ones will more than likely achieve the same effect. I simply take a small-ish section of hair and begin as if I were straightening it; only to instead start twisting the styler on the way down the length. It's a little tricky to explain, but envisage you're rolling the styler down a hill and you'll be just about there. I find the best way to do this is to take it in turns twisting the styler backwards and forwards as you move between sections; that way the wave doesn't sit too routinely and the whole thing looks a lot more natural. I run my fingers through the lengths, spritz a little Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray for an extra tousled finish and I'm good to go.
When I'm after a more defined curl but I still want that rough, 'bed head' texture, the Enrapture Totem Styler is where it's at. The three-heat dials first attracted me to this tool, but admittedly I've been pretty lame and kept it securely on the 1-1-1 setting ever since I got it over a year ago. My own cowardliness aside, this is the only curling tong that I've ever found myself being able to use with ease (regardless of a few minor burns along the way...). Having left my hair unbrushed, I simply grab random sections about an inch thick and wind them around the barrel, holding them in place for about 10 seconds before letting them go. If I smooth and detangle my mane first I find that I get a pretty neat curl; which is exactly why I never do it (personal preference of course). Again, I find the trick is to keep switching the direction in which you curl each section of hair for a natural, effortless result. As always, the Bumble Surf Spray completes the look and gives my hair that slightly 'pieced together' look that's oh-so-beach-babe. Sort of, anyway.